Most people likely associate actress Daryl Hannah with blockbuster hit movies such as Splash and Wall Street. In more recent years, the 52-year-old reclusive actress has shied away from the limelight and become a vocal and active environmentalist and animal rights activist. While much of Hannah’s life has remained a mystery, the actress recently opened up about her struggles to cope with her autism.
Autism is a brain development disorder which is characterized by difficulty with communication and socialization. Additionally, many individuals with autism resort to repetitive motions or actions in an attempt to calm or deal with anxiety and fear.
Autism is what’s known as a spectrum disorder, which means that the cases of those diagnosed range greatly from severe to high functioning. For example, individuals diagnosed with Asperger syndrome are typically high functioning and are often able to learn to cope with their disability through therapy or other less-traditional means of intervention. Others with more severe cases of autism, however, may be below normal intelligence and severely delayed developmentally.
Hannah recently opened up about the fact that she suffers from the disorder and has struggled for years to cope with its often debilitating side effects. Long regarded as reclusive and private, Hannah notes that her behavior has been misinterpreted and was spurred by feelings of severe fear and anxiety which at times became crippling.
Upon opening up about her autism, the 52-year-old lamented on those experiences she missed out on because of her disability. While doctors once recommended to Hannah’s mother that she be institutionalized, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 and eventually found great success as a Hollywood actress.
Early diagnosis of autism is critical in helping ensure a child receives the help and services needed to learn to cope with their disability. In many cases, individuals with autism are able to find effective coping mechanisms and live full and relatively normal lives.
Source: Disability Scoop, “Actress Opens Up About Autism Diagnosis,” Michelle Diament, Sep. 27, 2013